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  • Solis SL90 boiler replacement

    Oh dear, it looks like Im up for a new boiler on the Solis.  Its tripping the ELCB/RCD.  I checked the resistance of the heater element to earth and its only about 50 Kohm.

    The question is now whether to replace the boiler or toss the Solis out and sell the Iberital Challenge.  

    Ill have to price a boiler tomorrow and then discuss with my wife when she comes home from her holiday in Vietnam.

    It looks like I should be able to replace the boiler myself.

    Whats odd is that it was working OK until yesterday. I tipped it upside down today to remove and clean the screen and I was about to descale it. I forgot to remove the drip tray and the contents of that went insde the machine. I cleaned it up, dried it out, and switched it on. It tripped the RCD shortly (not immediately) after. Subsequent switch-ons tripped the RCD immediately.


    Ron

  • #2
    Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

    How sure are you its dry?

    I recommend putting it somewhere warm and dry with some airflow.
    Optionally just put it where theres some airflow, like in front of a fan.

    It only needs a very small amount of moisture in the wrong place for it to be tripping the RCD.

    If youre lucky it will come good.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

      It not the moisture on the electronics, etc.. That was my first thought, too (Im an electronics tech by trade - not that I do it any more ).

      I think it was turning it upside down that has done something. I removed the top of machine yesterday and shoved the nose of a hair dryer (blowing cool air) down the machine and left that for quite a while.

      That made no difference so I started working back from the power lead, checking for leakage. As soon as I disconnected the boiler element, the problem disappeared.

      Checking the resistance from the heater element to earth revealed the low resistance path.

      Im not sure that its worth repairing. I suspect my wife will be happy to get her kitchen space back and will suggest dumping it.

      My coffee is appalling and the electronics have a fault in that it wont switch on when the house is cold. Thats been an intermittent problem since I first bought it but I didnt realise that it was a temperature related fault until about 2 weeks ago. Once the house has warmed up, the unit will power up.

      I sometimes wish the kitchen company had never given us that first free Sunbeam Cafe Crema espresso machine as a pacifier after the problems with our new kitchen. It got me onto the coffeesnob spiral! (You work out if the spiral is down or up!) ;D :-[


      Ron

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      • #4
        Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

        Not usually one to kick a bloke when hes down, but what price are you thinking for the Iberital? :

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

          Originally posted by Bill44A link=1182162700/0#3 date=1182229528
          Not usually one to kick a bloke when hes down, but what price are you thinking for the Iberital? :


          Ill know tomorrow, Bill. The Challenge was bought late last year and has had very little coffee through it - probably less than 2 kg of beans.

          Ive asked the Solis supplier for a price on a new upper boiler which has the element. They were very helpful and emailed the illustrated parts list to me so that I could identify what I needed.

          I suppose I should remove the upper boiler and check the condition of the rest of it.

          Ron

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

            Ron,

            Bad news on the Solis..... It certainly hasnt bought you much luck.

            Well it seems you have found why it sometimes refused to start for you (but not when I had it).... I left in on most of the time and where it was located in the kitchen was a warm spot...... so it never failed.

            Water has probably got into the ceramic of the heater element. There was a post some time ago where someone did an almost identical thing (wasnt a Solis - cant remember what brand it was). He ran the element on a reduced voltage (something like 12 or 24 volts) for some hours so that it was warm.... and that dried out the moisture.... and it all worked fine afterwards.... and no longer tripped the RCD.

            Good luck.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

              Originally posted by JavaB link=1182162700/0#5 date=1182241351
              He ran the element on a reduced voltage (something like 12 or 24 volts) for some hours so that it was warm.... and that dried out the moisture.... and it all worked fine afterwards.... and no longer tripped the RCD.
              Hi Robin,

              These things happen. I have terrible luck in buying stuff. Nearly everything I buy is faulty. My wife refuses to buy anything I touch in a store. See http://www.aulro.com/afvb/showthread.php?t=36525 - its actually a carry on from other threads mentioned in that thread.

              Hmm, re the low voltage heating, that might be worth a try. Ive got a power supply in the garage.

              I received an email from Diamond. The prices for the part required are reasonable so Ill order them tomorrow.

              Ron


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              • #8
                Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

                It looks like I will be selling the Solis and the Iberital.

                My wife thinks we are wasting our time as weve never managed to make a decent cup of coffee with it or with our previous Sunbeam machine. Shes also looking forward to getting her bench space back and to NOT having coffee grinds everywhere. :-[

                As soon as I get the new parts fitted, Ill post the for sale info here.

                Ill keep the DeLonghi grinder for plunger coffee.

                Ron

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

                  Thats a pity p38. I know the Solis is capable of good results, especially with a reasonable grinder and the Challenge is up to the task. Id encourage you to not give up but it sounds as though youve pretty well made your mind up (or had it made up for you, and sometimes there are some things just not worth arguing!). Ive not followed your journey but its a shame for the espresso part to end here - for now anyway.

                  The consolation is that with your knowledge of coffee youll be able to really appreciate a range of single origins and blends in the plunger without having to worry about dialing in the grind!

                  Maybe well see you behind a portafilter again one day!

                  Greg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

                    Its been a long time since I posted here (mainly because the site is now blocked from work) or used the Solis. Id given up on it but hadnt gotten around to selling it.

                    Originally posted by JavaB link=1182162700/0#5 date=1182241351
                    Well it seems you have found why it sometimes refused to start for you (but not when I had it).... I left in on most of the time and where it was located in the kitchen was a warm spot...... so it never failed.
                    I found out today why it often failed to start.  The ballast resistor had been desoldered and one end lifted from the PCB.  Apparently this was a tweak to lift the brew temperature.

                    An article I found on making the Solis brew temp adjustable mentioned that if the resistor went open circuit, the Solis will fail to start if the temp is below 50 deg F (10 deg C).  In winter it gets that cold here.

                    My wife and I did a coffee course at a local roaster on the weekend (using their machine and grinder then the Solis with an Iberital Challenge grinder). The barista thought the Solis was too cool.  I did a check of the water out of the machine and it is only 80 deg C.  This wasnt at the screen but a bit lower and whilst free flowing.

                    So I hunted around the Net and found the article.  I pulled the machine apart today and found the resistor mentioned above.  Whilst Ive got it apart, Ill adjust the OPV as recommenced elsewhere.

                    Ill hold off selling the Solis until after Ive modded it and tried again to get past crap coffee.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

                      thats the CS way p38arover!
                      NEVER give up.
                      a lot of folks experience intense frustration and want to give up - throw, break or sell machines and grinders, etc.

                      theres usually some options and potential solutions right around the corner though. sometimes it takes time (and practice and doing courses and googling and CS)

                      seems like some trianing for you has got you firmly back on track.

                      some machines are a bit more sensitive to user input while others are a lot more forgiving. adjusting the OPV to regulate a maximum 8.5-9.5bar is ALWAYS a great start.

                      keep posting progress. love to hear how u go

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

                        Just in case you found different links, this is what I had.

                        http://www.ielogical.com/coffee/ scroll down a bit to Solis link.

                        and also some good info on its little brother the SL70 here and some tweaking http://www.coffeegeek.com/proreviews/detailed/cremasl70

                        Also from what I have read it was mainly the older ones that needed the tweak as the new ones were a litle hoter out of the factory.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Solis SL90 boiler replacement

                          Thanks Bean, yes, Id found those sites. Im fitting the temperature adjustment. However, Im using a neon for the light. I dont like the idea of feeding 240v to a LED on the front panel (even through a resistor and a diode).

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